All vessels operating in Vanuatu have been instructed by the Office of the Maritime Regulator (OMR) to turn off lights when approaching the State of Emergency (SoE) buffer zone, which is before Tuktuk Point and 4 miles before reaching Hat Island (Ertoka).
This precaution measure is to stop the Coconut Rhinoceros Beetles (CRB) from being drawn to the bright lights of the ships.
The beetles can approach incoming or outbound vessels when they spot their lights at night.
All vessels are instructed to turn off lights once they move further outside the restricted zone, to prevent further movement of CRB.
OMR has advised all vessel owners, masters and agents to comply with the instruction until the SoE ends.
Apart from the avoiding attraction from the lights, all vessels including game fishing crafts and banana boats are instructed not to enter or load any cargoes, good or other materials from the areas within the restricted zone.
Vessel owners and masters are also advised to comply with any instructions issued by the operation team led by the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries, Forestry and Biosecurity (MALFFB) until the SoE lapsed.
The instructions were issued by OMR to all vessels yesterday (Tuesday).